Improvement in upper-limb UPDRS motor scores following fast-paced arm exercise: A pilot study

Shelly Levy-Tzedek, Dan Arbelle, Dan Forman, Yair Zlotnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The symptoms of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) have been shown to improve when they perform fast-paced rhythmic cycling movements with their lower limbs. Objective: Our goal in this pilot experiment was to test the feasibility and the benefits of a short exercise program involving fast-paced rhythmic movements of the upper limb for patients with PD. Methods:We used an experimental procedure that elicits large, fast-paced movements by the participants without the direct instructions to do so by the experimenter. Ten participants with PD (71.0±6.5 years old) performed a 50-min fast-paced rhythmic exercise of the upper limb after withdrawal from PD medication for at least 12 hours. Results: Participants improved their kinematic performance, in terms of accuracy and combined speed and amplitude (p < 0.02), as well as their upper-limb MDS-UPDRS motor scores (p = 0.023). Conclusions: The results demonstrate the feasibility of using the described apparatus to perform an exercise session of approximately 50 min with both arms, and give a preliminary indication of the potential benefit of such an exercise program.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)535-545
Number of pages11
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Parkinson's disease
  • behavioral approach
  • exercise
  • motor control

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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